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Most research on ad-hoc wireless networks makes simplifying
assumptions about radio propagation. The ``Flat Earth'' model of the
world is surprisingly popular: all radios have circular range, have
perfect coverage in that range, and travel on a two-dimensional plane.
CMU's ns-2 radio models are better but still fail to represent
many aspects of realistic radio networks, including hills, obstacles,
link asymmetries, and unpredictable fading. We briefly argue that key
``axioms'' of these types of propagation models lead to simulation
results that do not adequately reflect real behavior of ad-hoc
networks, and hence to network protocols that may not work well (or at
all) in reality. We then present a set of 802.11 measurements that
clearly demonstrate that these ``axioms'' are contrary to fact. The
broad chasm between simulation and reality calls into question many of
results from prior papers, and we summarize with a series of
recommendations for researchers considering analytic or simulation
models of wireless networks.
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David Kotz, Calvin Newport, and Chip Elliott, "The mistaken axioms of wireless-network research." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2003-467, July 2003.
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